One of my absolute favorite Christmas traditions is to read/watch Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” in all its various forms throughout the Christmas season.
Like a child will watch a favorite video, I am that way with A Christmas Carol. Endless loop, please. Thank you.
I love the story so much that my parents purchased “A Christmas Carol Cherished Teddies” figurine version, complete with Scrooge and his counting house, so I could have Scrooge with me year round.
Since my parents are both gone now, it is a memory I can treasure. My Mom shared my “Scrooge” obsession.
(Our house is decorated for Christmas all year. Don’t judge me.)
Although I am fond of all of the versions, my favorite retelling of the story ends in a tie between “The Muppet‘s Christmas Carol ” with Michael Kain as Scrooge, and Kelsey Grammar’s A Christmas Carol.
Both of these versions are musicals, and brilliantly written. Paul Williams wrote the music for the Muppet’s Christmas Carol, (having its 30th Anniversary this year.
Alan Menken wrote the music for Kelsey Grammer’s Christmas Carol.
These two retellings couldn’t be farther apart. Although the bones of the story are the same, The Muppet’s Christmas Carol adheres closely to the actual text by Charles Dickens.
Michael Cain’s words are pretty much verbatim the text, leaving a bit of latitude for the Muppets to play with the story.
Kelsey Grammer’s version is based on the story, and feels almost like a stage play. It is also the only retelling that has the 3 ghosts appear to Scrooge before the night they set out to redeem him.
The music is lively, haunting and fresh. The end has a bit of a twist that is worth setting aside the time to watch this version.
Kudos to the costuming in this version. The costumes were brilliantly rendered by Helen P. Butler.
Other Scrooges worth noting are Patrick Stewart, Albert Finney (musical), George C Scott, Bill Murray (Scrooged,) and the list continues.
I actually played all the parts last year on Quarantine Karaoke spanning 5 days. I was Nana, and I told it in storytelling fashion including songs (public domain).
So if you have time this season, settle back, pick your favorite version of A Christmas Carol and enjoy. I have George C. Scott’s version all cued up, and ready to roll.
From our house to yours, Happy Holidays!
Need more holiday cheer? Check out these other delightful Christmas, New Year’s and other holiday stories.
Sue Cook lives in Freeport, Illinois with her husband Randy and two dogs. Her passions include assistance dogs, rescue dogs, music, acting, theater, poetry, and Doctor Who. She’s been in both film and theater and is a regular cast member of the podcast Doctor Who’s Line is it….Anyway? Sue is an advocate for the use of Service Dogs to assist their disabled handlers to maintain their independence. Quigley’s Quest, her first children’s book, addresses how a dog becomes a Service Dog.